Heart in a Box

Take any medical drama show on TV, and the organ transplant episode is bound to feature a red cooler and a resident running through the halls trying to beat the clock.

A new system could potentially change this scene by keeping organs alive for longer.

I can’t tell if the video is by the , or just a short film, but it’s still fascinating and it does make you wonder why a system like this wasn’t developed sooner.

The machine has been cleared for marketing in Europe but it’s not available in the United States yet. So, until then, the cooler’s job is secure on medical dramas, and in real life.

[via Upworthy]

Posted in Anatomy, medicine, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , |

Porcelain Heart

This beautiful Delft-inspired porcelain heart is by British artist , and you can actually buy it for a reasonable price on .

What makes this piece even more dear is its name: My Heart is Yours Forever.

My Heart Is Yours Forever, by Magnus Gjoen, via Saatchi Online
My Heart Is Yours Forever by Magnus Gjoen via Saatchi Online

Visit the artists’ page on , where he’s features as One to Watch, to see more of his fascinating and intricate work.

[Spotted it on Saatchi Online.]


Posted in Sculpture | Tagged , , , , , |

Beaded Heart

Happy Thursday!

I am in love with this beaded heart, which is the creation of masterful beadist, .

“Mi Corazon” by Jan Huling
“Mi Corazon” by Jan Huling

Here’s more about the piece from Jan herself:

I was planning to bead a mannequin torso and was considering cutting a whole in his chest and inserting a beaded heart. I ended up doing the heart first and really fell in love with it and felt that it worked as a stand alone piece. The beads I used on it are different from my usual beads, they seemed to give the heart an old mosaic look. My husband sculpted that heart for me and cast it in plaster. The beading probably took about a week.

I encourage you to visit her to see more of her amazing work.

[Photos used with permission from the artist.]

Posted in Beading, Sculpture | Tagged , , , |

Denim Hearts

Hi everyone,

‘s denim hearts are incredible, to say the least. But they become moving sculptures when you learn about their story. Wolf says on her :

This sculptural series began with the difficult experience of bringing my son into the world and my resulting preoccupation with his heartbeat. I began making hearts out of my old blue jeans, some of them saved since I was a teenager. This fabric that had held the wear of my everyday life for so long began, in my mind, to take on the quality of biological material—more like genes than jeans.

Anatomical denim heart by Anne Wolf
Anatomical denim heart by Anne Wolf

I asked her more about her choice of denim, and the process of creating these sculptures:

I believe that physical materials have a language of their own. My old blue jeans speak to me of skins, aging, biography and biology. As I began to cut, tear and stitch the denim, I felt a resonance with issues of the body, mortality, hope, strength, fragility.
Because I work with thick cotton threads, the needle can be difficult to push through the denim. I don’t try to make the process easy…there has to be some challenge, some transformation that takes place in the process through labor, time and mistakes.

You’ll also find in her series, of which she said,

I’ve learned that the brain, though it looks like a more simple form, is much more complex than the heart!

She said she’s promised her 6.5 year-old son to make the digestive system, although, “to be anatomically accurate, I need to cut and stitch 25 feet of small intestine!,” she said in an e-mail.

I can’t wait to see more of her denim anatomical sculptures. There’s something real and flesh-like about them. Visit her  or this to see more of her wonderful work.

[Photos used with permission from the artist. Photos by Sibila Savage.]

Posted in Anatomy, Sculpture | Tagged , , , |

The Adorable Hearts of ESC2013

I’m counting down the days to the ‘s annual meeting. The high-energy conference unveils lots of new and exciting research, not to mention that it’s taking place in Amsterdam.

I was paging through the program the other day, and couldn’t help by notice the charming hearts sprinkled throughout the program book. There’s something cheerful about them, don’t you think?




Posted in cardiology meeting, Illustration | Tagged , , , , |

Someone’s Heart

Last week, the New York Times ran an by a Harvard medical student about organ transplantation, with a wonderful illustration by .

© Jonathon Rosen

I asked Jonathon why he used the heart as the centerpiece of his illustration, and he said that he found the heart more aesthetic for the subject and title. If you read the piece, you’ll find that the bottom three blocks also capture the article’s message beautifully.

You can see more of Jonathon’s work .

[Photo used with permission from the artist.]

Posted in Illustration | Tagged , , |

“If I had heart I would love you…”

Hi Everyone!

Hope you’ve had a good week so far. I have some cool music to share. I came across a song titled “Heart” on the ever-so-fun and informative Web site, . It’s by the rock band Kid Karate.

And his cool poster was for their EP launch back in 2010. (I couldn’t find a larger version of it online.)

Kid Karate
Kid Karate

They band has gotten rave reviews, and it looks like their concerts are pretty awesome. I love this song particularly. Hope you enjoy it too!

You can listen to more of their music here.

[via ]

Posted in music | Tagged , , , |

“She was the beat of my heart.”

Hi everyone!

This post may not be so cheery, but it’s about pure, everlasting love. I came across this beautiful letter on one of my favorite blogs, . Novelist Raymond Chandler wrote it to his friend after his wife of 30 years had died.

Dear Leonard:

Your letter of December 15th has just reached me, the mails being what they are around Christmas time. I have received much sympathy and kindness and many letters, but yours is somehow unique in that it speaks of the beauty that is lost rather than condoling with the comparatively useless life that continues on. She was everything you say, and more. She was the beat of my heart for thirty years. She was the music heard faintly at the edge of sound. It was my great and now useless regret that I never wrote anything really worth her attention, no book that I could dedicate to her.

Hope you will have a wonderful week filled with love.

Posted in Letters, Love Letter, Words | Tagged , |

Cross My Heart #2

Hi Everyone!

I wrote about ‘s beautiful work a few months ago. Back then, she told me she was working on a larger torso with a more prominent heart, and here it is:

Coronal Man, detail, by Lisa Nilsson
Coronal Man by Lisa Nilsson

It’s so intricate and beautiful! Every time I look at it, I discover a new detail.

When I wrote up the original post, I did some research and learned a few things about the ancient art of . I just received my mini starter kit. Now, it’s a matter of finding time to play with it. I’m sure I will appreciate the complexity of work so much more once those tiny pieces of paper begin to disobey me.

Have great week!

[Photos used with permission from the .]

Posted in Anatomy, Paper Art | Tagged , , , , , |

Brick Hearts

Heart by artist Nathan Sawaya. Photo courtesy of www.brickartist.com.
Open Heart by artist Nathan Sawaya. Photo courtesy of www.brickartist.com.

Between his New York and Los Angeles art studios, Nathan Sawaya has more than 2.5 million colored bricks, he says on his . And he buys his bricks just like everyone else – no special orders from LEGO®. But what he creates with them is extraordinary. His Web site, brickartist.com, is a LEGO wonderland.

Mr. Sawaya’s assistant wrote me that he built the anatomical Heart you see above for the cardiology department at a hospital in San Diego. For guidance, he bought a teaching heart model. To me, the bricks somehow represent our cells: they’re both building blocks.

Mr. Sawaya’s exhibit, The Art of the Brick®, is now touring North America, Asia, and Australia, and they’re “the first major museum exhibitions to focus exclusively on the use of the popular toy, LEGO® bricks, as an art medium,” according to his

I think you’ll enjoy clicking around on the site, and maybe you’ll get a chance to visit one of his . If you click on the slideshow on the site’s , you’ll find a photo of him where even his cufflinks look like they’re made of bricks.

[Photos used with permission from the artist.] [Spotted it .]

Posted in bricks, LEGO, Sculpture | Tagged , , , , |

Heart of Ink

Angela Willetts, “Heart”
Angela Willetts, “Heart”, detail

Fine artist Angela Willetts has a of beautiful, soft, ink paintings on , which you can buy at a very reasonable price.

This painting is called Heart, and she write on Etsy,

This piece is from my “Occupied” series which explores the body as a tool for experiencing both connection with and isolation from the world.

When it comes to her work, she says on her ,

I enjoy the challenge of working with marks over which I have very little control, then building order into and around them; much as I create meaning and structure around those things I can’t understand or control in life. I also enjoy watching my mind struggle with the dual impulses to invoke chaos and insist on order.

Visit her Etsy shop, , or her Web site to see more of her work.

I absolutely love her pieces and can get lost in the details, trying to follow the lines and patterns.

Posted in ink, Painting | Tagged , , , , |

Glass Hearts

“Message in a Bottle” by Kiva Ford
“Heart in a Jar” by Kiva Ford

I came across these two delicate hand-blown pieces by , on . He does so much more, and every piece is fascinating, delicate and beautiful!

You can watch this to learn more about him and see more of his work. My favorite quote from the video: “Focus on one skill and get good at what you do.” His work and passion is definitely inspiring.

Visit his , or his .

Posted in Glass | Tagged , , , , |

Heart of Steel

Artist used steel and aluminum parts to create this piece, titled Cardiac Arrest.

“Cardiac Arrest” by Christopher Conte

I love this piece. To me, it’s an abstract representation of the heart’s machinery, which needs to work like clockwork, or we’ll be in trouble.

Chris told Heart Interpretations that the piece is the size of an actual human heart. He said he used his closed fist as a gauge.

I encourage you to visit Chris’ Web site to see of Cardiac Arrest, and to see . He also has an interesting background – he’s a .

[Photo used with permission from the artist.] [ Spotted on Tumblr.]

Posted in Sculpture | Tagged , , , |

A Heart to Sit In

I’ve been looking for heart-shaped furniture, and finally found one. In the New York Time’s .


Vitra.com, where you can buy the  for a handsome price, describes it like this:

The Heart Cone Chair takes its name from its heart-shaped silhouette. The extended wings of the backrest are reminiscent of Mickey Mouse ears, but can also be interpreted as a contemporary development of the classic wingback chair.

If I were to decorate a cardiologist’s office, this would be one of the first pieces I’d put in the waiting room.

Posted in Furniture | Tagged , , , , |

Portraits of Little Heartbeats

I bumped into this awesome portrait in the mall, on the directory stand.

Heartbeat Portrait of frontline health worker Domingo Lux.
Close-up of the portrait.

The portrait is part of an ad campaign by the international group . The campaign is called , where a group of frontline health workers traveled the world and recorded the sound of children’s heartbeats. Then, using the EKGs, they created portraits like the one above, which is that of frontline health worker, Domingo Lux. If you , you can click on each line and see a child’s face and hear his or her heartbeat. It’s quite an experience!

Using the beats, the organization also created an original song with the band . You can also turn your Facebook profile picture into a . Or have the heartbeat going on Twitter.

Anyway, as a journalist, I’m not endorsing or promoting the campaign – I feel like I have to say that. But, I think the idea behind it, and especially the portraits, are awesome!

Posted in Ad Campaign | Tagged , , , , , , |

What It Means to be Alive

Michele Banks, a D.C.-based painter and collage artists, creates beautiful and detailed water color pieces, magnifying life that’s mostly invisible to the naked eye.

“Blood and Bone” by Michele Banks
Heartbeat Silk Charmeuse Scarf by Michele Banks
“Love and Death” by Michele Banks

Most pieces have a story behind them, and I encourage you to read them by clicking on the images, and visiting her Etsy .

Banks, who has named her Etsy shop , is not a scientist, but has a fascination with the living world, especially at the microscopic level. She shared this with Heart Interpretations:

I think the main thread that connects all my work is the idea of what it means to be alive. Obviously, this draws me toward things like the brain and the heart, but also toward slightly less obvious concepts, like the fact that each of us is a home for thousands of viruses and bacteria. That idea may make some people squirm, but I find it fascinating.

You can also learn more about her and her work in this 2011 .

So much color! I don’t know about you, but I have my eyes on the EKG scarves. Would be fun to wear it to my next cardiology meeting!

[Photos used with permission from the artist.] [h/t ]

Posted in Fashion, Painting | Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Embroidered Heart

Anatomical Heart by Rachel Harmeyer

There’s something calming and luminous about this embroidered anatomical heart, created by . I’ll let you read about it in her own words:

I’ve always been fascinated with the heart as a visual and literary symbol as well as a subject for research.

My background is in fine art and art history, but I did take classes in scientific illustration and anatomy when I was an undergraduate at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and I’ve been obsessed with antique anatomy books ever since.

I’ve been embroidering medical illustrations, especially those of the heart, for several years now.

I think a lot of what my work is about is the sense of wonder I felt, as a child, when I first looked at medical illustrations of the interior of the human body in my family’s old encyclopedias. I remember the luminous colors, the awe of seeing the internal become external.

In my anatomical works, I hope to recreate that experience for others.

You can see more of Rachel’s work . You can also buy a lovely tea towel with an embroidered heart .

[Spotted it on Tumblr.]

Posted in Embroidery | Tagged , , |

Cross My Heart

‘s beautiful and intricate anatomical cross-sections have been featured on quite a few art blogs lately. And as you can see, it’s for a good reason.

Lisa uses an ancient technique called quilling or paper filigree, which involves rolling and shaping narrow strips of paper. She says on her that the pieces are made of Japanese mulberry paper and the gilded edges of old books.

Let’s start with her life-size cross section of the chest, called Thorax. You can see the heart in the middle, surrounded by the lungs.

“Thorax” by Lisa Nilsson

male torso She also has two torso pieces, one male and one female. But as you can see below, the heart is depicted differently in them. So we had to ask her: why the difference?

Good question…. The female image is the first one I made and is the most accurate.  The “Male Torso” is the only piece I’ve made where I took such large artistic liberties with my source (the color is invented and I stylized the texture of the lungs as well as the structures in the mediastinum).

At the time I was experimenting with using a more subjective and stylized interpretation of anatomy in my work…. but quite quickly returned to sticking with a more accurate approach.

I have looked at coronal sections of the chest area that fall outside (more toward the front or back of the body) of the midline and, coincidentally they look somewhat similar to what I invented.

Now you know. Enjoy!

“Male Torso” by Lisa Nilsson
“Female Torso” by Lisa Nilsson

You can see more of Lisa’s work .

And, if you’re curious about quilling, here’s an instructional video on making a quilled ♥. It makes you appreciate these pieces even more!

[Spotted it and .]


Posted in Paper Art | Tagged , , , , |

Where Did the Heart Symbole Come From?

By LaserCute on Etsy

On this Valentine’s Day, I came across a couple of interesting posts about the origin of the heart symbole. Really, where did it come from?

According to , no one really knows. It could be inspired by a North African plant, or a vision by a Catholic Saint. (Here’s using the anatomical heart.)

On his witty blog, , Joe Hanson has a of Aristotle’s anatomically incorrect heart, which makes it look a little like the heart symbole. Maybe that’s where the symbole came from.

Hanson points out that Aristotle popularized the idea that the heart is the seat of emotions and passion. Maybe a symbole eventually caught on, because I’d imagine people don’t want to draw an actual organ to express their love.

And here’s a , where you can learn how to create a heart symbole with keyboard shortcuts.

But no matter which heart shape your prefer, I hope yours is always filled with love ♥

[You can buy the pixel heart necklace .]


Posted in Blog, Words | Tagged , , , |

My Heart in My Hand


This is heart transplant patient, Peggy Smith. I cannot even fathom what it must be like to hold this part of you in your hands – but here she is. Her photo has gotten more than 500,000 hits. You can read her story on .

While searching the photo-sharing site Imgur, I also found the photo of this young man with his heart. A cardiac surgeon commented on this photo on a few months ago.  His photo has gotten more than a million hits.

Posted in Cardiology, Surgery | Tagged , , , , |

Soul of Cardiology

The cover of the album “Cardiology” from the band Good Charlotte. ©Daniel Martin Diaz
©Daniel Martin Diaz

These are awesome drawings by . On his , Daniel says:

One of my earliest memories as a child was the way death and religion played an important role in my family’s life. My parents were born in Mexico with traditional beliefs, and their beliefs made their way into my subconscious. The fact that many of those beliefs seemed to render no logical explanation has also influenced me. These unanswered questions find a home in my work, which evokes the mystery, fear and irony of those vivid memories of my past. I do not claim to understand these questions. I just paint and let them reveal themselves to me.

Visit Daniel’s or , where you find more of his beautiful work, and also his upcoming book, Soul of Science.

[Photos used with permission from the artist.]; [First saw it .]

Posted in Drawing | Tagged , , |